Page 1

Archives

kingdom a British colony. Consequently the Benin king issued an edict barring all British officials and traders from entering Benin territories and since Major (later Sir) Claude Maxwell Macdonald, the Consul General of the Oil River Protectorate authorities considered the 'Treaty' legal and binding; he deemed the Benin king's reaction a violation of the accord and thus a hostile act. As an overt manifestation of Oba's reaction against the overthrow of Nana, Oba Ovonramwen closed all the hinterland markets under his control and thus blockaded the flow of Palm produce to the coast. The blockade was partially lifted when Major Ralph Moor the Consul General intervened. However, the intervention did not prevent the Oba from demanding extra tribute from the Itsekiri middlemen - a demand which turned the later against him. He also demanded and obtained 20,000 corrugated iron sheets from the British merchants before he could open up the markets. There is no doubt that in these actions Oba

Gallwey & Benin Chiefs; 1892

Ovonramwen had made enemies both with the British and his neighbours, a situation that facilitated his overthrow two years after. Who was Gallwey? Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Henry Lionel Galwey, KCMG, DSO (25 September 1859 – 17 June 1949) was the Governor of South Australia from 18 April 1914 until 30 April 1920. Henry Lionel Gallwey was born on 25 September 1859 at Alverstoke, Southampton, England, to Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Lionel Gallwey and his second wife, Alicia Dorinda Lefanu, née MacDougall. Following his education at Cheltenham College and the Royal Military College in Sandhurst, he was commissioned in 1878. He served as an aide-de-camp to the governors of Bermuda, being promoted to captain in 1887 Gallwey was appointed deputy commissioner and vice-consul in the newly established Oil Rivers Protectorate that later became the Niger Coast Protectorate in 1891. In March 1892, he failed to convince the King of Benin, Omo n'Oba Ovonramwen, into signing a deceptive

23

The Empowerment Post

'treaty of friendship' that would make Benin a British colony. Instead, the King issued an edict barring all British officials and traders from entering Benin territories. The 'Gallwey Treaty', although it was never signed, became the legal basis for British invasion, occupation, and looting, culminating in the savage Benin Expedition of 1897, which destroyed the Kingdom of Benin. Gallway was often mentioned in dispatches during this time, and was rewarded with the Distinguished Service Order (DSO; 1896), appointment as Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG; 1899) and promotion to major (1897).Given the rank of lieutenant-colonel when placed on half-pay in 1901, he retired from the army in 1902 to become governor of St Helena, where he revived capital punishment. Appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 1910, he was transferred to Gambia in 1911. In 1911, Gallwey changed his surname to "Galway" and on 26 August 1913 in London he married Baroness Marie Carola Franciska Roselyne d'Erlanger. Gallwey was appointed Governor of South Australia in 1914. Galway resented the limitations placed upon a constitutional governor, and his governorship was defined by controversy. He managed to anger a wide spectrum of the population. Galway's appointment was not renewed upon its expiration in 1920; though he was liked by the Adelaide establishment, he had been a spectacularly controversial governor, and the Colonial Office refused him another post. He returned to England later in 1920, and died on 17 June 1949. The Benin City Expedition Justification for the violent overthrow of the Benin kingdom was to avenge the deaths of seven Britons who had been ambushed who had been ambushed on a path to Benin a few weeks earlier. They were represented as peaceful ambassadors sent to discuss the operation of a trade treaty with the Oba, who were then murdered in cold blood - however, the evidence tells a different story. The true story At the end of the nineteenth century, European powers were busy partitioning Africa and bringing formerly independent countries and states under their control. Britain established a palm oil industry – palm was used in the production of soap – and established links in West Africa. At first, the British strategy was to build up trading links, not formally to control . Oba Ovonramwen wanted to levy customs duties on the trade in the region but the British wanted to deal directly with the producers of goods. The British traders became irritated and suggested to the Foreign Office that he should be overthrown. These were the years of the global rubber boom, consequent on John Dunlop's invention of the rubber inner tube. The virgin forests of Benin looked June 2013

21_  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you